PUBLISHED: 17:40, Sun, Nov 1, 2020 | UPDATED: 17:40, Sun, Nov 1, 2020
Hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second national lockdown to be imposed this Thursday, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca revealed the country’s health regulator has begun a review of the potential vaccine.
A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said: “We confirm the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) rolling review of our potential COVID-19 vaccine.”
During these reviews, regulators are able to see clinical data in real time and speak to drug makers on manufacturing processes and trials to accelerate the approval process.
It is designed to help speed up evaluations of promising drugs and vaccines during a public health emergency.
On Friday, the MHRA were also reported to have begun another accelerated review for a vaccine from Pfizer Inc.
Britain starts accelerated review for vaccine (Image: Getty)
Scientists researching vaccine for COVID-19 (Image: Getty)
AstraZeneca - alongside Oxford University - and Pfizer are the frontrunners in the race to develop a vaccine as the daily infection rates continue to soar.
At the end of October, there was a breakthrough with the Astra-Zeneca/Oxford vaccine after analysis by Bristol University found greater evidence the vaccine triggers an immune response.
This study proved the vaccine is correctly programmed to replicate the “spike protein” associated with the deadly virus.
The protein is what the body’s immune system will learn to attack if infected with coronavirus.
READ MORE: Coronavirus CHAOS: UK reports over 23k cases
Boris Johnson announced new national lockdown (Image: Getty)